On Friday 18 November, United Airlines launched its new nonstop service between its Washington/Dulles hub and Cape Town International Airport.
United’s new flight from Cape Town is the first-ever nonstop service between Washington, DC and South Africa’s legislative capital, Cape Town.
United already has three nonstop flights a week from Cape Town to New York/Newark and one flight a day from Johannesburg to New York/Newark. With the new route, there will be six nonstop flights a week from Cape Town to the United States.
Customers will not only be able to fly directly from Cape Town to Washington, DC, but also to over 60 destinations in the Americas through United’s Washington Dulles hub.
United is the only airline providing nonstop service between Washington, DC, and South Africa, offering more nonstop flights from South Africa than any other American airline.
United’s partnership with South Africa-based Airlink provides additional travel options for customers travelling from the southern cone of Africa and connecting onto United’s nonstop long-haul services to the U.S.
United first launched flights from Cape Town in December 2019, and the new service to New York/Newark quickly became one of the airline’s flagship international routes.
The airline later built upon this success in Africa with the launch of flights between Johannesburg and New York/Newark in June 2021, as well as new services between Accra and Washington, DC in May 2021, and from Lagos to Washington, DC in November 2021.
“We are excited to launch our new service between Washington, D.C., and Cape Town, which builds on our industry-leading network across the Atlantic,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances.
He continued, “As the largest airline between the U.S. and South Africa, we are proud to link our countries’ diplomatic and legislative centres and look forward to benefiting the thriving travel and tourism industries.”
Alan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape Government, said, “The Western Cape’s post-Covid-19 recovery continues its take off. Our province’s lucrative tourism sector – a key economic lever to growth has been given another boost thanks to United Airlines.”
The premier went on to say that the introduction of the airline’s non-stop service between Washington, DC and Cape Town is another sign of the ongoing increase in demand for travel to the Mother City and is further proof of its standing as a top tourist destination.
“The U.S. Consulate warmly welcomes United Airlines’ newest non-stop flight between Cape Town and Washington Dulles Airport,” said Todd Haskell, U.S. Consul General. “This flight will continue to enhance U.S.-South African partnerships and friendships, and increase two-way trade, investment, and tourism.”
Geordin Hill-Lewis, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, expressed his delight to welcome United Airlines’ passengers to Cape Town as they disembarked from the first-ever nonstop flight service between Washington, DC and Cape Town.
He said, “As the capital of the United States, this is an important flight for government and commerce. Travellers from the East Coast of the U.S. – and, indeed, all over North America – now have unprecedented access to Cape Town’s unique tourism and business offerings. Slowly but steadily, through travel options such as this flight, Cape Town is becoming a key gateway to the African continent.”
Wrenelle Stander, CEO of Wesgro and spokesperson for Cape Town Air Access said that along with their current New York/Newark to Cape Town route, United’s addition of a Washington/Dulles to Cape Town service will enable the continued expansion of economic opportunities for Cape Town and the Western Cape.
“The US travel market is a growing one and we are pleased about the new United Airlines route connecting Cape Town and Washington D.C.,” said Mark Maclean, Regional General Manager, Cape Town International Airport Cluster 2.
United’s new service from Cape Town to Washington Dulles is operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, featuring 48 all-aisle-access United PolarisSM business suites, 21 United Premium PlusSM premium economy seats, 39 Economy PlusSM and 149 economy seats.
The revolutionary design of the Dreamliner offers customers many features for increased comfort, such as large windows, spacious overhead storage and modern LED lighting to simulate a full day, helping passengers adjust their internal clock on the transatlantic flight.
Additionally, a lower cabin altitude, better air quality, and a smoother ride help passengers arrive feeling rested. With restaurant-quality inflight dining, deluxe amenity kits, and flat-bed seats, United Polaris business class is a premium travel experience that prioritises comfort and relaxation.
Picture: Supplied / Justin de Reuck